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Jesus said, "I have come so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of." (John 10:10)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Really LONG road trip!

We have not dropped off the face of the earth.... just dropped off the face of the computer for a few days! (little time or access to on-line). But we're having many fun adventures along the way to Nashville, TN, where Art and Silas are waiting for us (and the moving truck) at our new home! (The truck will not arrive with our things until Tuesday, so the 3 younger kids, myself and my mom made a detour to my hometown of Auburn, AL for a few days).

I'll try to post some photos later, but we've made stops at Cadillac Ranch, many McDonald's playgrounds, Holiday Inn Expresses, and a water park to name a few. We have currently taken over a friend's home in Auburn until Monday afternoon when we'll re-load the car and head for Nashville.

Please pray for Savanna, who has had a cold and is having a rough few days of crying, clinging and overall frustration..... Everyone else is holding up, and we'll keep you posted as we can!

Friday, May 14, 2010

...with child-like faith...

Don't mean to focus on solely on Savanna lately, but since much of my emotional and physical energy is spent on her (these days, all I have to do is look at her sternly and she says "no touch, Savanna?"), makes since that she takes up a lot of our blog, too! So here's a funny Savanna story that might also make you think...

We were driving to the grocery store (the closest one is over 10 miles away....once again, I'm looking forward to Nashville!). Anyway, it began to rain and then suddenly turn to hail. Savanna and Samuel were both in the middle seats with their hands over their ears saying "too loud, too loud!". I informed them that while I could do a great many things, changing the weather was not one of them. It stopped just as quickly as it had started, and evidently Savanna had begun to enjoy it, because she said, "Mama, again! Again!", while pointing to the windshield.

I replied, "Savanna, I can't control the rain. You'll have to ask God about that one." She quickly responded by looking up at the ceiling of the van and saying very matter-of-factly, "God! Again!"

I could not control the laughter! But it did make me think of all the times I've tried to manipulate the outcomes I've wanted instead of asking the one who is actually in control of all things....
"I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure." (Luke 10:21)

A photo from this morning with our dear friends, the Morris children (on their trampoline which we frequent!), or as Savanna and Samuel say, "Mrs. Oddy!" (can't say 'H's or 'L's yet for some reason)...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Savanna, we've come a long way, baby!

Last night was our end of they year interns banquet for Glorieta Camps and Conference Center, so while all the adults were in one room for the banquet, all of our kids were being watched by volunteers in an adjacent room, watching movies, eating pizza, etc. I had stayed home with Samuel who was recovering from a couple of days of very high fever (thankfully, the ER confirmed that is was not malaria the night before). Around 7:45pm I went to pick up Savanna since she and Samuel go to bed at 8-ish, and when I got there, she had evidently just tripped and fallen (very common occurence for her as she is a "size bigger" than her age/brain!) Anyway, she was only mildly wimpering in someone's arms until I came into view, then she bursted into uncontrollable tears....exactly the kind you WANT to see from an adopted older child....the kind that says, "I can let it all out now, my mommy's here!"....

I held her tight all the way home, enjoying her clinging to me and feeling completely free to be comforted by me. Then, she performed the "clenching" act of the evening. With her head laid on my chest, arms around my neck, and crying slowly fading, she said "I want mama".... (She wasn't implying she wanted someone else, but rather that this was where she wanted to stay).

It was an incredible experience that I will never forget. She's been affectionate to me plenty over the last 3 months, wants to be held all the time, gives great hugs, etc. But this was a defining moment - Mine were the only arms that brought her the kind of comfort she desparately craved. When I shared this with Art later that evening, he said, "yall have come a long way since week 1!"....For those of you new to our blog, week one in Africa consisted of her being in Art's arms, bawling when I had to take her from him, begging strangers to take her from me, laughing hysterically for Art, but then noticing me watching and becoming totally stone-faced again. Now at the time, I knew all this would change, we had read plenty of stories to know this would likely happen to one of the parents. We overcame that chasm thanks to 5 packs of fruit snacks (Cristy - I'm FOREVER in your debt!).....but love and perseverance has helped us overcome the gulf......

On that note, I'll leave you with a minute or 2 of video footage of the first Snead Family baseball extravaganza, where Savanna is featured....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day...let's try again tomorrow!

I was all geared up yesterday for the glorious post I wrould write on this one day of the year that honors the contributions and superpowers of me, the mom. Now, I'm glad I read J.B.'s post first so that I'm not alone in thinking I'd really rather try this again another day. This one has gone down the tubes. But I still wouldn't trade being a mother to these four precious children...

One of which now has scabs and sores forming around his ears where his oxygen tubing is rubbing him....(Hence, the attractive "cotton dressings" sticking up over his ears in the photo...) We can't get to Nashville soon enough!

The other middle child, Samuel, has a fever of over 103 - not sure any of my kids have ever had a fever that high.

The response of Savanna, the 3 year old little sis, "Savanna hurt. Savanna medicine.".... The response of Josiah, the 5 year old brother who's issues of his own seem to have made him apathetic, not sympathetic, "hmmmm..... I'm going to play trains.".

Then, there's the unprompted response of Silas, the oldest brother who immediately went and drew a get-well card for Samuel (even writing the "kenyirwandan" phrase for "I love you" on it), who then proceeded to tape pom poms on his face, put on a costume and juggle underwear to try to entertain Samuel (...who fell asleep during the "exhibit"). "A" for effort Silas....you might have just saved Mother's Day!